Thai-Style Fried Fish

This classic Thai dish is best made with a small whole fish but it also works well with fish filets or frozen cod loins as I have used here. The sauce is wonderfully fragrant and you can adjust the level of heat by varying the number of chilies you use. Served over steamed jasmine rice it makes a nice light dinner.


2 cod loins, about 4 ounces each

¼ cup oil

2 or more spring onions cut into 1-inch piecesStyu

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 green and 1 red Thai or Serrano pepper

1 tsp. grated ginger

1 tsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. fish sauce

1 tsp. palm sugar (jaggery) or a 50-50 mix of white and light brown sugar

1 tsp. tamarind liquid (⅛ tsp. tamarind paste in 1 tsp. hot water) or lemon juice

Pinch black pepper

Steamed jasmine rice to serve


Rinse and dry the fish well. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat and fry the fish on each side until done, about 5 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

Pour off about half the oil and let the rest cool a bit. Over medium heat cook the spring onion until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until lightly browned, about another 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, tamarind liquid, and pepper. Simmer for 1 minute.

Plate a serving of rice and place a piece of fish on top then pour sauce over both. Serve immediately.


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